It would be an understatement to say that most members of the 116th United States Congress aren’t poor. While most elected national representatives make an annual base salary of $174,000, Congressional leaders like the Speaker of the House make more (She makes $223,500). But most members have much more than that thanks to family money, business investments and, in one case, a freshman congressman with a winning lottery ticket.
But these politicians’ net worths have little in common with the typical financial situation of American families. The median household income in the U.S. is $61,372, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
To rank members of Congress we looked mostly at reporting from Roll Call, which has been ranking politicians’ wealth since 1990. We also looked did independent research into the finances the new members of the 116th Congress.
Interestingly, because of the political climate, many “un-monied” lawmakers made it to the 116th Congress. Among them: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.).
Finally, the 2017 real median household income levels per state are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey.
Here’s our list of the 28 richest members of the 116th Congress.
Senator Perdue comes from a family of schoolteachers in the Peach State. After graduating college, he cemented his success in multiple companies, including Sara Lee and Dollar General.
Yes, that’s the same Pence as Vice President Mike Pence — he’s the VP’s older brother, who is new to the 116th Congress. According to Roll Call, his two antiques malls are valued between $5-$25 million.
The Speaker of the House is currently in her 17th term as a representative and is the mother of five children. She never made a salary before being elected to represent California’s twelfth district but was an active fundraiser in the Democratic party. Her husband, Paul, is a successful investment banker who owns and runs Financial Leasing Services, a major real estate and venture capital firm.
The co-owner of Total Wine & More and freshman congressman runs and operates the business together with his brother. Trone reportedly financed nearly all of his own campaign with his personal fortune.
Sen. Hoeven started his career as a bookkeeper at First Western Bank & Trust in Minot, owned by his father. The young banker finished college and expanded the business. He eventually moved on to be president of the Bank of North Dakota, then became governor. He has been the state’s most senior senator since 2011.
His father started a successful industrial real estate business after World War II: the Warren Norman Co. The company is responsible for building some of the biggest commercial parks, office buildings and residential subdivisions in South Carolina.
A living legacy of the famous Kennedy family, Kennedy is a lawyer by trade. His great grandfather made a fortune in film, banking and liquor. His paternal grandfather was Robert F. Kennedy and his maternal grandfather was one of the founders of Standard Oil.
The head of the Manhattan Construction Group, which built the two Bush presidential libraries and the AT&T Stadium where the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys play, among other major commercial real estate developments.
The congressman from California represents Silicon Valley and has a background in intellectual property law. But much of his money comes from his wife’s side of the family: His father-in-law is Monte Ahuja, head of Mura Holdings and founder and CEO of Transtar.
Congressman Williams’s financial success story starts with his family’s car dealership, which he later expanded into a massive auto mall, car washes and auto repair shops across the northern part of the state.
Congresswoman DelBene created and sold two internet startups and later moved up the corporate latter of Microsoft Corporation: She started as an intern and ending as VP for mobile communications and marketing.
The son of a U.S. army officer was born in Trieste, Italy. He took over his family’s Volvo dealership and expanded it with his siblings into nine highly successful dealerships.
The former tax and environmental litigator made great money in his private legal practice, but marrying the head of a major private equity firm didn’t hurt, either.
The freshman congressman reported to the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives last year that the assets he was required to list were valued between $38.7-$92.9 million.
The freshman senator reported earning $18.5 million from the stock in his company, Meyer Distributing, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.
Mitchell started out working at Chrysler and later moved on to Ross Education, a medical training company. He later became the company’s CEO. He has a diverse investment portfolio with stocks and partnership income in a private investment fund.
Former mechanical engineer Collins bought out a part of an industrial gear company he was working at. He later invested in biotech, ceramics and health care.
Trey’s money mostly comes from his stake in his father’s company, Hollingsworth Capital Partners, a multi-state industrial real estate empire started in Kentucky.
Feinstein is now the wealthiest member of congress from the state of California. Her main moneymaker is Carlton Hotel Properties, which owns the Carlton Hotel in San Francisco. Her husband, investment banker Richard Blum, is president and chairman of Blum Capital and has at least $21 million in assets according to the Los Angeles Times.
Origin of wealth: In-laws
Estimated net worth:$70 million
Connecticut’s real median household income:$74,168
Blumenthal married into money: His father-in-law is the real estate developer Peter Malkin. The senator has been hounded by President Trump on Twitter, in part thanks to the feud between Malkin and the Trump family over ownership of the Empire State Building. As the website Rollcall.com mentions, disclosure requirements for spousal assets are relatively unspecific, so Sen. Blumenthal’s true net worth isn’t clear.
Heir to the famous Phillips Distilling Company (think peppermint schnapps), freshman Congressman Phillips is also to thank for Belvedere vodka being sold in the U.S.
The Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee made his moolah as a venture capitalist in the telecommunications industry before he hit 40.
Aside from his charter jet business and his car dealerships across the southeastern United States, the Florida congressman has fifty other businesses.
McCaul married into big money: The congressman’s wife Linda McCaul (formerly Mays) is the daughter of the former chairman of Clear Channel Communications, now iHeartMedia. Her brother was Clear Channel’s CEO before the Mays family sold a large percentage of its stake in the company in 2008.
The Montana senator is infamous for body slamming a reporter from the Guardian. He also has a private jet. The multi-millionaire got his start as a tech entrepreneur: He and his wife co-founded RightNow Technologies, which was bought by Oracle in 2011.
The Sunshine State’s former governor and its newest senator may be worth even more than $232 million — his family fortune may be well over $500 million. This is because candidates are not required to disclose their spouse’s assets. Scott’s wife, Anne, has holdings under her name between $171 and $208 million, according to Politico.
The Utah senator ran for president in 2012 and was one of the richest candidates for president, ever.
The former Navy veteran and freshman congressman worked for Frito-Lay until he was laid off in 2010. Weeks later, he and his wife won a Mega Millions jackpot of $266 million. Immediately after winning, he and his wife established a charity for Latino students.
Cisneros ran on a clever platform of change in the 2018 election that emphasized he could connect with constituents because he didn’t have old money, but he also had enough new money that he couldn’t be bought. It’s unclear how much of that money he still has, or whether he has made even more with investments.
Originally published at https://www.workandmoney.com.